In general terms if I put the meaning of Brothel, it is a place where women trade their body, having least interest in their profile and more in the profit gained. It is more about helplessness and enforcement rather than alacrity. I have come across devastating stories of prostitutes but there’s something which left me turn into a question mark! Women from Bedia tribe of Rajasthan and their tradition leaves everyone astonished!
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Prostitution And It’s Joviality
A mile beyond the town of Bharatpur in Rajasthan lies this interesting tribe where prostitution is not something they hide their faces from but it is a tradition and girls in the family wait for their chance eagerly! The village is set on the borders of four lane Jaipur highway to Agra, and the reason trucks often take halts in the vicinity not to just fill their tummy but to even empty their pockets for sexual desires. Several girls aged less than 18 or even less than 15 are seen strolling and sitting next to the road lanes to catch hold the attention of the bypassers.
Suli who is 14 is seeking more attention as she sits beside the fire, wearing pink sari, heavily bedecked in a wait for the first man to sleep with her. She is virgin and there’s a huge pay for virgins. Suli belongs to one of those families living in the cluster of almost 60 families for whom, prostitution is a caste based long tradition.
Suli will give away her virginity to the man who bids the highest amount.
Prostitution here is a right of every girl, which portrays their adulthood. Marriage is a very less celebrated event. The normal rate to spend night with any girl is 100 rupees, but a virgin is sold to the highest bidder for anything over 20,000 rupees. If beauty is added to virgin girls, the amount can get up to 40,000 rupees.
Bidding a girl to have sex was a shock but the reality, that the man who wins her can keep the girl as he likes (it can be several hours, days, or even weeks), has made me numb! Once she is set free, the family celebrates a party from the money she receives because the tribe finds it unlucky to keep that money as savings and hence they throw a party. You won’t believe what they do in party! They slaughter goats, offerings are made to god, jewelleries are bought for the girl, dancing along with the alcohol are the main ones.
This night is her non-wedding night. As she lost her virginity, she cannot marry and thus she will continue as a prostitute and this is seen as a celebration.
Suli said, “I chose it”. “I do not know how it is going to be. I know other girls who are in the trade but I have not asked them how it is.” She had no dull instinct, “I will go with whoever pays the highest price.”
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On Your Footsteps
Same life will be of Nita’s, she chose to follow the tradition like her 4 sisters who were paid 25,000 for their virginity. Nita who is just 13 says, “I choose this, I won’t have to do any housework.” she giggles while saying so and this certifies her immaturity. Denying the house chores she has chosen the path where she would have to sleep with 20 to 30 men a day until her 40’s. Once she is undesirable, she will be relied on any children she might bare during her period as a prostitute, for support.
According to Nita’s sisters, Nita is quite pretty and may get 40,000 for her first time. They say that they were not paid enough and had worked hard to build one of the stone houses in the village. They support the family of 50 members – 35 children and 15 adults!
“There was a lot of poverty, we had nothing to eat, What you see now has come with hard work.”
A separate government department works for similar tribes, which advises and educates families to educate their girls and to marry them off only after 18, saying prostitution is not in welfare of neither the family nor the existence of the tribe.
I wonder what would be these women’s life, who are ready to be laid at 13 and may continue till their 40’s. Do they ever understand love between the couples? or it is only about money? And if they are struck by love, do they get one, once they lose their virginity?
Image Source: womenpla.net